We had the pleasure of meeting Sophie Thomas, a blogger, qualified personal trainer and the face behind A Model Example. Her attitude is so infectious, and we were filled with upbeat and positive vibes. We asked her a few questions about herself, her ethos and her favourite popcorn flavour - obviously!
What was it like working within the model industry at a young age?
Both very daunting and very exciting. I am incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive family who got me through the stressful times – and times which really affected me personally. When you’re 14/15 and being constantly told you’re not ‘the right fit’ for a product can be a struggle, but they were the ones who reminded me not to take it personally, and that for every one client who doesn’t take to you, there are many more who will. But I grew up very fast; I became resilient, mature, and thick-skinned as a result, so all of the stressful experiences were definitely a trade off (plus it’s such a wonderfully creative job, you essentially create art!)
You state on your blog, that you now model on your terms, what do you mean by this?
I juggle my modeling with my health and fitness career; both are passions of mine, and the beauty of today is that you no longer have to confine yourself to a 9-5 sort of life plan; you become your own entrepreneur, working hard but also loving what you’re doing. As I am very much an ‘inbetweeny – so not the standard sample size, high fashion physique, and not plus-sized either – I do a wide range of work, and my agency is so amazing in that they allow me to be who I am, promote an ethical message of health and vibrancy, and model on my own terms. I think that’s what I want to be able to promote – to be who you are, be the best version of yourself and always strive for self-growth, because so many people compare themselves to others and want to be somebody else, when they are incredibly beautiful and unique individuals in their own right.
What is the driving force behind your fit and healthy lifestyle?
I started watching what I ate and exercising more as a result of modeling requirements, but it quickly became so much more than that. I became severely depressed, and hit rock bottom, in such a dark, scary place that it felt like there was no escape. On the side, I began to look into nutrition and training properly – and found, as I was doing so, the effect it was having on my mood and outlook on life was incredible. Obviously, this was in conjunction with proper, professional help, but no doubt it aided my recovery immensely. I can’t even emphasize enough how much it changed my life! It was then that I realized the connection between mind, body and spirit – and how training hard and eating well looks after all three, not just your potential ab lines in-waiting.
What do you love about being a Personal Trainer?
There’s so much it’s hard for me to mention it all in this one interview! I’m a huge people-person, and I love meeting clients – seeing how they tick, their personalities, making new friends and bonds, I like to get close to them as I realize the importance of emotional support on a fitness journey, and seeing them grow and empower themselves is such a beautiful thing. I love the fact I get to live and breathe my passion; inspiring people to better themselves; and seeing people genuinely improve their lives from getting fitter.
What is the best thing you could say to encourage someone to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Firstly, really ask yourself: why do I want to get fitter? When you’re certain why, motivation is far less likely to wane. Secondly, start with small changes and work your way up. Too many clients – females, especially (I think we tend to have this all-or-nothing approach to diet and exercise!) tend to start with the best intentions, but end up drastically reducing their calorie intake and burning themselves out. Train hard at least 3 or 4 times a week, and set yourself daily targets to eat certain foods which increase your health and chances at hitting your goals. If you’re new to this, odds are that going full throttle right at the start won’t serve you for very much longer.
Too many – I really should direct my energy into only a couple at a time! Short term, I’m getting my yoga teacher trainer and S & C coaching certifications – probably all within 2017. In terms of business, I want to expand my message of empowerment, positivity and vibrancy to so many more people – and ultimately, (this is the big dream) have my own wellness studio, entailing a gym area, health eatery, therapy/counseling on site and lots of yoga and meditation. Ultimate dream, and one I plan on achieving!
Superfood: Classic Cacao. It’s so versatile and it tastes sooo naughty, but its so good for you!
Spot to eat in London: Good Life Eatery. It caters for everyone, there is so much to choose from and there are two amazing locations.
Workout spot: When I train in the gym, I usually go to Soho Gyms or High Street Kensington Studios as I train a lot of my clients there, and it allows for a stable regime. Outside I love to train ‘al fresco’ in the park, preferably Richmond park. There are so many deer out and they all have different personalities!
Post-workout snack: I’m obsessed with making choc protein vegan shake! It tastes so naughty and its high in protein. If I’m on the go, I’ll grab a Coconut and Chia LoveRaw bar or a bag of Nina’s Popcorn!
Retail therapy: All Saints has that vibe, but I love vintage shopping. Vintage Shopping is so satisfying, you can create a really cool and creative outfit. For athletic wear I love Sweaty Betty and Charlie Cohen is beautiful.
Chillout spot: I love nature, it’s beautiful and so calming to me; I feel so connected to nature. I live near Richmond Park, so I’ll walk, run or meditate there. Followed by a hot bath and a book, its perfect!
Nina’s Popcorn flavour: It’s a tie between Sweet Coconut, Himalayan Pink Salt and Maca, and Cacao, Goji berries and Pistachios. The cacao flavour is so original and you can’t believe it works so well with popcorn. The sweet coconut is reminiscent of classic cinema popcorn, but without all the nasties. I’m normally not a sweet popcorn eater, but when I tried it was amazing. They’ve converted me to loving sweet popcorn, which is so rare!